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What is more beneficial for children... A SAHP or 2 working parents and childcare?

(454 Posts)
Candlefairy101 Thu 25-Jun-15 10:24:05

Hi, I'm not trying to start a debut I am just generally interested in people opinions on the subject.

I have been both a SAHP and a mum working full time. With my youngest I have decided to stay at home but with my oldest I worked full time and he spent a lot of time at nursery. I still feel guilt about this (I don't know why I feel guilty about all those nursery hours just so I could finish my degree) because 1) he can't remember it and 2) he has a mum with a career.

BUT now with my youngest I have decided to stay at home and wonder how/if my children will be effected by each decision and difference growing up lifestyle.

How do mum AND dads feel about this subject also DADS do you like the idea of you wife/ partner being at home with the children?

mY mum when growing up was always a SAHP and then did a 360* turn and worked all the hours under the sun (her choose she didn't have to), I was sad because I always felt comfort at school or out playing that she was always at home, always on standby if you know what I mean?

Love to here everyone's opinion x

Laquila Thu 25-Jun-15 10:34:14

Hard to hear people's opinions with starting a debate, really. But surely it's conpeltely and utterly dependant on your circumstances, and those of your family, along with about a bajillion other factors??

PandaMummyofOne Thu 25-Jun-15 10:59:08

I don't think you'll have a general consensus here, it's very hard to say what is right for each individual family.

For us, it's two working parents and child care. DP works Monday to Friday, I work Monday to Thursday. DS has two days in a full time nursery and then one day with each set of GP's. It works for us.

We can be 'adults' outside the house and still have plenty of time with DS knowing that he is very happy in his child care.

This may not work for everyone though. The same way as being a SAHP wouldn't work for me.

fhdl34 Thu 25-Jun-15 11:06:46

For us it was always that one of us would stay at home, even 10 years before we had kids that was always our ideal. At the time I earnt more than DH so we assumed it would be him but by the time we managed to conceive ours lives had changed a lot and I ended up at home with the kids but I wouldn't swap it. My mum was a sahp until my younger brother went to school at 5. I was 7 and didn't want her to do it, she didn't need to financially but she wanted to. Once my youngest is at school I'd like to get a part time job what fits into school hours and term time so either dinner lady, teaching support assistant or school admin but I am just pregnant with DC3 so it is a long way off just now.
There is no right or wrong, what works for one family won't for another.
Money is tight for us, we don't have sky or Virgin, neither of us smoke, I don't drink and husband hardly does (once every few months) but the sacrifices for us are worth it. There are a lot who are worse off

Gdydgkyk Thu 25-Jun-15 11:08:59

It depends on the family, their outgoings and needs.

My family is happily stuck in a 1970's time warp of second hand clothes/furniture, walking everywhere to save petrol cash, playing in rural ponds, limited technology (only computer and one iphone) and me only working 10 hours a week. We are not particularly materialistic I guess.

JassyRadlett Thu 25-Jun-15 11:24:54

There are too many variables for there to be a single pronouncement about whether one option is more beneficial or not, including quality of parenting by the stay at home parent, quality of non-parental childcare, socioeconomic implications of each choice and consequent impact on the child/ren, etc etc etc. There's plenty of research on the subject if you're really interested in objective opinions rather that people justifying their own choices.

DADS do you like the idea of you wife/ partner being at home with the children?

Why not ask mothers if they like the idea of their partners/husbands staying home with the children, too?

Thurlow Thu 25-Jun-15 11:31:10

It is completely dependent on each individual family and their circumstances and also, I think, the personality of the child.

We both work as we both want to work. Both work f/t but different shifts, so DD isn't exactly in f/t childcare. It works for us. But partly that is because we're both happier working, whereas we would be unhappy if one of us had to give up their career and stay at home. And partly because we are fortunate that DD is an outgoing, confident child who enjoys childcare. Which is a chicken and egg situation anyway - does she enjoy it because it's what she's used to, or is it just a coincidence?

Personally I think if either parent is unhappy, whether it's by having to work or being unable to work, that's less beneficial for a child in the long run.

But it's absolutely not a question that has a straightforward answer.

Nolim Thu 25-Jun-15 11:31:51

My opinion is that there is no consensus nor there should be, a happy paretn is a better paren whether woh or sah. obviously money is a factor as well as personal preference, but being stuck at home when you want to work or viceversa is the least ideal position imo.

Candlefairy101 Thu 25-Jun-15 12:14:41

Your absolutely right, thanks for your replies, I don't know what made me think about it? Maybe it's because I've just found out I'm expecting again and I was planning on going back to medical school, I think there's always so much guilt when your a parent and because of money issues the choice it's taken straight out of your hands.

LashesandLipstick Thu 25-Jun-15 12:21:15

I personally think part time work is best - still get the benefits of a parent at home, but gives the parent their own space and job.

I must admit I don't understand people who have kids and then work ridiculously long hours and put their kids in nursery.

MorrisZapp Thu 25-Jun-15 12:24:43

Each to their own. My ds has benefited massively from going to nursery, and we both love our jobs.

Thurlow Thu 25-Jun-15 12:42:27

I suppose, Lashes, because life is rarely as straightforward and as simple as being able to make the exact decisions that you'd like to.

The mythical part-time working is always put out on these threads. The economy is hardly booming. Many private companies don't feel financially secure enough to start to give their staff flexibility and part-time hours. Remember, there is a financial cost to a firm to doing that, even if it is short-term, and regardless of the long-term benefits of staff retention.

So you might prefer to work part-time or more flexibly, but you get pregnant before you expect, or the situation at your firm changes, or a dozen other things, and that ideal, part-time working scenario is off the plate, and you're left with a decision of childcare v giving up a job or career you might have spent a lot of time and money training for (with all the attendant issues of what you then do when your kids are older)

crazytyke Thu 25-Jun-15 12:53:05

part time is not mythical in my world. out of 7 nct mums, 6 of us went back part time (3 days) and one chose to not go back

LashesandLipstick Thu 25-Jun-15 12:56:44

Thurlow, I understand. I'm a student myself and didn't plan to have children until I'd finished my course, I'm 30 weeks expecting DS. I know that I'm going to have to put him in nursery/with family for most of the week. Sometimes it can't be helped.

But the thread was about ideals, and for me, my ideal would be working 3 days and having the rest of the time with DS. My comment about long hours was mainly targeted to those who choose to be very career minded, which isn't a problem, I just don't see why you'd have kids if you don't have any interest in them.

Athenaviolet Thu 25-Jun-15 13:00:30

My DC really missed after school care when we took them out due to not needing it anymore when both of us were no longer working.

I think that extra socialising and physical activity really benefitted them. I'd love it if that was free for all dcs. Now they come in and are stuck in a lot more. It's not as healthy a lifestyle, mentally or physically.

yellowcurtains Thu 25-Jun-15 13:06:06

Of course lashes, people only put they small children in nursery because they have no interest in them. hmm
OP, you say 'go back to medical school' what exactly do you mean by this?

conniedescending Thu 25-Jun-15 13:07:22

Both working full time otherwise ridiculous assumptions that mum stays home will e made as illustrated in OP.

Children should develop a good work ethic regardless of sex, plus sahp become a bit of a drain once kids are in school

LashesandLipstick Thu 25-Jun-15 13:07:49

Yellow where have I said that, I've said that I will have to put my son in one so I clearly haven't said that.

I've said I don't understand people who choose to work and put their kids in childcare when they have the option of working less.

LashesandLipstick Thu 25-Jun-15 13:08:45

Connie, so the running of a house that the working partner would have to otherwise pay for is a drain is it? hmm

AggressiveBunting Thu 25-Jun-15 13:09:49

Now they come in and are stuck in a lot more. It's not as healthy a lifestyle, mentally or physically.

But if you're not working, why can't you just take them out and do something?

conniedescending Thu 25-Jun-15 13:21:12

Get real lashes....both parents working does not mean they pay out for running of the home. We both work and do cleaning and gardening at weekends!

Someone going to come and post that awful list on FB that sahm constantly share listing I'm a cook, cleaner, teacher, chauffeur, nurse, gardener, decorator etcconfused

Parenting is just parenting....let's not get evangelical and agonise about it. Sick of all this hand wringing ...lets just get on and live our lives

LashesandLipstick Thu 25-Jun-15 13:24:02

Connie, good for you, some people might want their weekends to spend with their kids and not have no quality of life. I don't care what you personally do, but don't insult people who choose to stay home.

NickyEds Thu 25-Jun-15 13:28:54

As others have said it depends on the SAHP/WOHP and the child/ren. I'm a SAHM. It's something that I've always wanted to do whilst my children a small. I suppose I've been influenced by my parents and my sister. My parents both worked full time. There were periods where my dad was away mon-thurs and others when my mum worked shifts so 12-7.30. They provided us a nice home, holidays, Christmas pressies etc- we weren't rich but money wasn't a day to day worry. I missed having someone at home terribly. I was always alone on Sports day, shifted from pillar to post during the holidays. I would have loved someone at home. My sister SAH with her three and really enjoyed it and I can see how the kids benefitted.

You'd have to ask dp about how he feel about it but it's something we planned together and was very much a joint decision. He really respects what i do and we're equals in our relationship. He also see the struggles of his colleagues who both work and the constant stresses of getting the kids into childcare, illness in particular is a nightmare.

We're very happy with the way things are. I find it very difficult to discuss it with some of my friends though. I genuinely don't think that childcare is bad for kids or second best and think it's definitely best for some of my friends who love their jobs but it's such a sensitive subject.

conniedescending Thu 25-Jun-15 13:29:20

Why do we have an obsession with intensive parenting??

Sahp fall into 3 categories, lazy and unemployable (child probably better in nursery ),

Obsessive/ paranoid/ competitive - parenting becomes their life work rather than just living your life through Life cycles (child better in nursery)

Can't work for now/ will return to work - I've been in this group. Usually have some rational thinking that kids will be ok if you are ok ( child thrives regardless )

LashesandLipstick Thu 25-Jun-15 13:32:50

Connie, we don't. Not all SAHPs are obsessive, or lazy. I plan on working part time, so don't know whether I fall into working or SAHP, but I'm certainly not obsessive and I think it's important I have things I enjoy that aren't about my child, just as I have things I enjoy that I do without my partner.

Staying at home isn't about watching your kids like a hawk and obsessing over them, it's about climbing trees with them, cooking with them, reading to them, laughing with them, taking them to nice places, hugging them. Forgive me if I think I can do those things for my son rather than pay someone else to

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